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CrossFit Kids Kitchen

This is something I have done from time to time in my CrossFit Kids classes, and I figured I should start doing it via this blog, as well!  I’m talking about promoting healthy eating for kids and families via sending my students home with nutritious, fun, kid-friendly recipes.  Here is a fantastic example of a meal you can make for your child (or yourself!) that is both inventive and delicious!

This recipe comes from the CrossFit Journal kids recipe series by Shirley Brown and Alyssa Dazet:

Sandwich Sushi

Few kids like sushi. It’s raw and cold and fishy.

But if you substitute in food your kids love to eat, you’ll get sushi that won’t make them squirm!

Serves 2 (8 sushi pieces)


4 slices of turkey cold cuts
4 slices of ham cold cuts
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup julienned cucumber

Serve with a side of mustard or guacamole for dipping! Get creative with your sushi. There are endless combinations for this dish. Fill your sushi with red bell peppers, jicama or avocado—and on and on and on!

1. Lay 2 pieces of ham on top of 2 pieces of turkey. Cut away the excess edges so they form a clean-cut rectangle. Then slice length-wise down the middle, so you are left with 2 longer “sushi paper wraps.”
2. Lay ¼ cup of carrots and ¼ cup of cucumber on each wrap.
3. Start at one end and roll the carrots and cucumber up in the lunch meat. Place the open-end side down to keep the roll closed or, if necessary, secure with a toothpick.
4. Repeat with the remainder of the meat and vegetables.

Last but not least, enjoy meal time! 🙂

WLC Update:

Congrats to all of those that made it through the first week of Whole Life Challenge! The first challenge of the week was “Be that Guy”.  We had a total of 19 out of 50 that completed the challenge.  The draw prize has changed and it is more fitting to the week challenge.  It is a $50 Gift Certificate to Cafe Bliss ( – compliments of Joe Cunliffe.  And the winner is…… Tara Bomhof!

Keep up the good work team!

Today`s Workout:

Buy In -Front Squat 3-3-3-3-3 E3M

  • Mobilize during class to help you get into the proper positioning – check out the chart or ask a coach for tips
  • Increase weight each round if form is perfect!
  • Create that torque and keep the tension throughout the whole squat

WOD –  “Dip it Low”

AMRAP in 10 minutes:
50 M Run
Max Reps Ring Dips

Score = total ring dips

Zone 3 – scale to assisted ring dips
Zone 2 – scale to pushups
Zone 1 – scale as needed

Cash Out – 5 sets of 10 Toes to bar

Scale as needed – hanging leg raise or 5 x 5 reps

Why CrossFit For Kids?

I get a lot of people asking me questions about CrossFit Kids when I tell them that’s what I do for a living.  They have a hard time trying to picture how and why a child of a young age would want or need to do “CrossFit” type movements.  “Isn’t it dangerous?” they ask.  “Won’t they hurt themselves?” they wonder.  “Shouldn’t we just let kids be kids?” they muse.

My answer is, exercise is only dangerous if it is unsupervised and out of the range of a child’s current physical abilities.  A proper fitness educator, such as the ones you’ll find in a CrossFit Kids program, should be in tune to these things at ALL times.  The likelihood that children will hurt themselves while being active in a CrossFit Kids class is no more so than that they will injure themselves during a soccer match, or a raucous game of tag, or on the school playground.  Supervision by adults along with an integration of education about the proper ways to move are important factors in this.  We aim to teach kids to have fun via exercise, while also teaching them to the importance of injury prevention.  As for letting kids be kids, that is exactly what our program is all about!  Granted, CrossFit Kids classes do teach the value of physical hard work, but this is achieved through movement, play, and most of all, FUN.  Of course, this reasoning applies to teens, as well as younger children.  While the approach to fitness may be different from the age of 10 and up, that doesn’t mean we won’t still be focusing on doing it for the sheer love of exercise, and learning to have fun while we get fit.

There are a lot of scientific reasons why exercise is good for your kids.  If you don’t believe me, just go ahead and Google it.

Here’s a great video from CrossFit Central all about the “why’s” behind the CrossFit Kids program:

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My favourite take away piece from that video was the quote from the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders that shows, “kids will only treat exercise as important as their parents treat it.”  So why not show your kids how much YOU value the importance of exercise by signing them up for CrossFit Kids Zone this Fall.  Give them the gift of a lifelong love of fitness!

For more information contact Coach Shannon at

Cindy Challenge Testing:

If you are needing to complete your Cindy baseline, there are a few people coming on today at 4:30 to complete the workout.  Come and join them!

Today’s Workout

Buy in – Turkish Getups,  20 reps total


Time to retest your Baseline! The last time we completed it in a WOD was at the beginning of April. Can you hit a PR? Can you make it on to the leaderboard?

For Time:

  • 500M row
  • 40 Squats
  • 30 Situps
  • 20 Pushups
  • 10 Pullups

Zone 2 – scale to assisted pullups
Zone 1 – scale as needed

Cash Out – Pick something to test and see if you can get on the Leaderboard!

Should Kids Be Pumping Iron?

Original article re-posted courtesy of the Globe and Mail

Pint-sized tots are pumping iron at the CrossFit Calgary gym. Kids as young as 6 are doing curls with two-pound dumbbells, while their older peers, 8 and 9, are doing the same with five-pound weights under the watchful eyes of CrossFit Kids’ certified instructors. No parent has ever complained, and no child has ever been hurt. In fact, there’s only one problem with pint-sized tots lifting weights, says Chantal Theberge, the gym’s kids and teens program director.  “If anything, we have to hold them back a little bit because they always want to go a little bit faster and harder than anyone else,” she says.

New fitness guidelines released last week by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommend that children and youth aged 5 to 17 get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day, including muscle- and bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week. That doesn’t mean CSEP is suggesting five-year-olds should take up weightlifting per se. But despite a widespread belief that lifting weights is harmful to children, CSEP experts say it’s perfectly safe, provided children have proper supervision.

It was once thought that kids who lift weights might damage their epiphyseal plates, growth plates found in bones, resulting in stunted growth.

There “isn’t good evidence that doing weight training stunts growth,” says Ian Janssen, an assistant professor in the school of kinesiology and health studies at Queen’s University whose research contributed to the CSEP guidelines.

That myth, which developed because of the relatively short stature of many gymnasts, is due to a “selection issue,” he says. Kids who are shorter than their peers are more likely to be streamed into gymnastics because it favours a low centre of gravity.

David Behm, a professor in the school of human kinetics and recreation at Memorial University and co-author of the CESP position paper on resistance training in children and adolescents, agrees with Dr. Janssen on the safety of underage lifting.

“If you look at the relative incidence of injuries of everything Canadian kids do, playing hockey, skateboarding, skiing etc., the incidence of injury for those sports is much higher than any children who have ever been on a strength training program,” he says.

Lifting weights helps prevents injuries, he adds. “You’re going to have a child whose bones are denser, you’re going to have muscles that are stronger, and you’re going to have tendons and connective tissue that is also denser and stronger.”

Dr. Behm says no child is too young to start. “Physiologically, there is absolutely no reason why a kid can’t resistance train,” he says.

Of course, learning proper form and not over-exerting themselves are essential, which is why kids at CrossFit Calgary can go for months before they even try a bicep curl.“Kids don’t get a weight in their hand until they have the movement down perfectly,” Ms. Theberge says. “If we have a nine-year-old or an eight-year-old who has the movement down perfectly, they’re going to get five-pound dumbbells.”

Kids who are 6 and have the movement down will be given two-pound dumbbells.  Even though it may not seem like much weight, it benefits kids in several important ways, Dr. Behm says.  “It’s giving them co-ordination and balance because they have to learn how to lift it properly, so that will help them in terms of performance in sports and activities of daily living. It’s providing them with more strength and endurance,” he says.

Perhaps most importantly, weight training helps to boost bone mineral density – the main reason the new fitness guidelines recommend kids engage in muscle- and bone-strengthening activities.  Bone density peaks and begins to decline at about age 20, which is why CSEP recommended these strengthening activities. They want kids to build up the density so they’ll have more to lose when they are older, Dr. Janssen says.

But, he says, kids don’t need to begin lifting weights until about age 10. Prior to that, he says, playing on the jungle gym, jumping around, skipping, running, push-ups and tumbling around on the playground are good enough muscle- and bone-strengthening activities.By age 10, kids are becoming competitive in the sports they play. “That’s when you might see that introduced because they want to develop the strength and the power that’s going to be beneficial for the sport that they’re engaged in,” he says.

Yet while kids may be showing an interest in weight training, it’s important they not overdo it, Dr. Behm says.
Kids should only lift between 50 to 60 per cent of their one repetition maximum for safety reasons, he says. Lift more than that and an injury is more likely, if only because a kid drops a weight on her foot.

And, of course, supervision is essential. As Ms. Theberge has discovered with the kids in her program, youngsters often want to go too hard.  “It’s all a maturity thing,” Dr. Behm says. “Typically, what’s going to happen is that kids are going to want to have a weightlifting contest. Johnny lifts 50 pounds and so Tommy wants to lift 55 pounds and they want to lift it over their heads and they drop it on their heads. You’ve got have somebody there to make sure it’s a weight-training program and not a weightlifting program.”

For more information on our CrossFit Kids Zone program, contact Shannon at

Today’s Workout

Buy In – Tall Snatch 5 x 5 reps
* Coach review technique
* The tall snatch is simply the third pull of the snatch (watch video)
* Only increase weight if you can get under the bar fast

WOD“Gymnast Count down”
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of the triplet:

  • Chest-to-bar pull-up
  • Box jump, 24/30 inch box
  • Hollow rocks

Zone 3 – scale to regular pullups, scale box height to 20/24 inches
Zone 2 – scale to assisted pullups and hollow rocks as needed (arms and leg up in the air)
Zone 1 – scale as needed

Cash Out – MWOD

* 1-2 minutes per side of rubber band stretch for lats
* Thoracic extention with double ball or foam roller, moving arms overhead and back
* 1-2 minutes per side rolling out your feet



The Reasoning Behind Kids & CrossFit

I get a lot of questions regarding our CrossFit Zone Kids program.

“Do they lift weights?” people ask.  “Doesn’t that hurt them?”  Another common question I get is, “What exactly do you DO with the kids? Do they do workouts?”

I thought I’d explain a bit more about our program, and why we find it a valuable and useful resource for any and all children.

Strength is one of the 10 general physical skill that results in “measurable changes” in the body, brought about by training. Strength can be defined as “the ability of a muscular unit or combo of muscular units to apply force” (Glassman). Gains in strength indicate the body has increased its ability to apply force.

CrossFit Kids participate in training that provides a means to foster these adaptations. The lift movements such as shoulder presses, deadlifts and thrusters frequently make their way into workouts. Medicine balls are thrown and pushed in exercises such as wall ball, and throws for height and distance. Benchmark workouts like “Lil’ Diane” utilize a couplet of deadlifts and handstand pushups in which increasing weights and decreasing times are indicators of gains in strength. These movements build strength by exposing the body to stressors that enhance its capacity to handle such loads. Mindful of the need to maintain attention and focus with children, we incorporate fun, game-like elements while maintaining the stimulus. Additionally, the need to make careful use of progressive loading according to skill and capacity when working with children is of primary concern.

The importance of strength training cannot be overestimated, as it is foundational to the development of all the biomotor skills. Strength training not only increases the ability to apply force, a pivotal aspect of power, it improves endurance by prolonging the amount of time it takes for muscles to fatigue. These neuromuscular changes effect every aspect of life from the way one looks and feels to fitness training and involvement in specialized sports. (Rippetoe/Kilgore) For the young athlete focused on strength gains, optimal Sports Conditioning can be best accomplished through a carefully crafted CrossFit program.

Agility refers to the “ability to quickly transition from one movement pattern to another” (Glassman). This is what we often recognize in athletes as quickness and ease of movement. For example, a soccer player dribbling the ball down the field must utilize his body to carry out multiple movements and directional changes at a moment’s notice. An accomplished soccer player is nimble, displaying the ability to quickly and precisely change the body’s direction. We might say “he can turn on a dime.” Agility, like the other general physical skills, does not stand alone. It requires “balance, coordination, reflexes, speed and strength” (wikipedia) and is improved through consistent practice that brings about changes to the nervous system. Agility training has at its core those movements which require the individual to repeatedly practice and improve the ability to effectively change velocity and direction.

Displays of agility are not isolated to the sporting field. For most of us the need to “transition” is more necessary to daily life. Dodging a moving object such as a teenager on a skateboard, spying and avoiding a stray glob of chewed gum on the ground, and running through a crowded airport all require agility.  CrossFit kids become more agile by practicing movements that force repeated changes in direction and fast reaction times.

If you’re wondering whether CrossFit Kids Zone is right for your child, email Shannon at for more information on our programming and classes.

CF OPEN WOD #1 is released tonight.  Come in and complete it at 7:30pm (Start warming up prior to 7:30pm).  If you want to help Judge, come on down to help!

Today’s Workout

Buy In – Thrusters 5 x 5 reps
* increase weight each set
* Work on explosive power from the hip as you drive the weight overhead
* Maintain a solid core through the whole movement

WOD – “Dumb Elizabeth”

21-15-9 Reps for time:
DB Squat clean (35/55)
Ring dips

Zone 3 – Scale DB`s to 20/35lbs
Zone 2 – scale to assisted dips on rings or parallel bars
Zone 1 – scale DB`s as needed and sub pushups for dips

Cash Out – MWOD
* Tricep stretch with rubber band
* Rollout all three heads of the tricep with a ball while extending the arm

What Can CrossFit Kids Do For Your Child?

…Thanks to this article from the CrossFit Kids Journal (Oct. ’10), we can help answer that question more effectively.

I’m sure that almost all of us have had that deer in the headlights feeling when someone asks us “What IS CrossFit ?”

Our explanation always seems to fall short, despite our best efforts. Even more so when kids are involved!  What do we tell someone that asks us:  “What will the CrossFit Kids program do for my kids?”  Sure,  we could talk about increased work capacity and functional fitness, but sometimes a picture, or maybe a video, is worth a thousand words.

Here is a video demonstrating exactly what a “Product of CrossFit Kids” can look like.  This video is designed to show all you parents where  your kids will start with us, and what is possible should they choose to continue with us to the point of Adulthood!

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While you may not have dreams of your child becoming “an elite weightlifter”, don’t for a minute think that this program doesn’t apply to them.

Our goal at CrossFit Kids is simple:  we deign to educate and enthuse children and teens about functional fitness. We believe these will be the foundational experiences your children require to embark on lifelong journeys of wellness which will enable them to effectively perform simple, yet necessary tasks well into their adult years. Our dream is to foster a generation of healthy, fit individuals who require limited assistance and enjoy freedom of movement and activity throughout their life spans.

Always functional, never boring, CrossFit Kids works the body according to the way it was designed.  We aren’t here just for kids who want to be elite athletes: we are training a generation to take responsibility for their health by having FUN through movement!

Today’s Workout:

Buy In: Rope Climb demonstration, check out the video from CFHQ for a few tips:

After the instruction from the coach, take turns practicing approximately 5 climbs each figuring out what technique works best for you.  While you are waiting for your turn warmup to your clean weight for the workout.

WOD: Elizabeth

Elizabeth is one of the famous CrossFit Benchmark workouts.  The last time that we did this wod was October 11, 2010.

21-15-9 Reps for time:

  • Clean 95/135lbs
  • Ring Dips

Zone 3 – scale to assisted ring dips

Zone 2 – scale clean weight as needed

Zone 1 – scale ring dips to regular pushups, scale wod as needed

Cash Out: Coach led rubber band stretches for the shoulders, followed by rolling and stretching the rest of the body